Free computer & tech help for seniors

Computer & tech help for seniors

Computer & tech help for seniors

FREE Kindle eReaders Available Online

FREE Kindle eReaders Available Online
“Turn Your Computer Into an eReader”

by Gregory West

It just keeps on getting better in Cyberspace!

“WOW,” I hollered  when I learned I could get a free app (software program) that turns my computer into the Kindle eReader. It was a fluke coming across this beauty.

I ordered a technology book to review from OReilly Media. Usually my review books get emailed as a PDF or a real paper book. This particular book came as a an attachment in an email that my computer did not recognize, nor open. I tried and tried to open the file without success. Finally, after emailing OReilly’s back, they explained about the free app to run the Kindle eReader on a computer.

Marsee Henon, from O’Reilly Media (www.oreilly.com/ebooks), explained that “our ebooks work not only on a Kindle, but also on the Kindle app offered on Macs, PCs, iPads, and other devices.”

At first I didn’t believe it would actually work. I clicked to the amazon website (listed below) and downloaded the program, all the while, still thinking it probably won’t work. Even when I had the program downloaded, it wasn’t until I clicked on the ebook attachment in OReilly’s email when a miracle happened. The ebook opened on my computer and I had my very own Kindle on my laptop. Amazon also through in several free books too. Yeah!

Marsee sent me the links (listed below) for the free download. If you have a Windows computer less than 12 years old, or a Mac computer with an Intel chip, you should have no problem using your computer as a Kindle eReader. You can check the required specs on the following websites.

Choose one of the links below and download the Kindle app for your computer.

Windows PC computer users:

http://amzn.to/windows_kindle

Mac computer users: Snow Leopard and Lion
http://amzn.to/snowleopard_lion_kindle

Mac computer users: Leopard
http://bit.ly/leopard_only

The Kindle application for your computer offers many functions, “including functionality such as zoom and pan, highlighting, note taking, dictionary lookup, and bookmarks,” according to Amazon.com.

Once you get your free Kindle eReader app  visit the Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) where there are over 30,000 book titles. These books are free as the copyrights have run out. There are some real gems to be had here. Treat yourself this free eReader; you will be amazed with this easy-to-use technology. I know I enjoy my new free Kindle.

PROBLEM – Last month a reader emailed me that he had a problem after downloading the anti malware program (Superantispyware.com) I wrote about in the June issue called: “Make Your Computer Run Brand New Again”. He said the program worked fine then “it began asking for $19.95”. He also said he had an difficult time trying to remove this program.
SOLUTION -After several emails and a telephone conversation it was discovered this reader clicked the “UPGRADE” button. This took him away from his free version to the paid version. Moral of the story: Be careful what you click. “UPGRADE” usually means a better program and one that costs. The reader was thinking he was getting an “UPDATE”. Therein lies the difference: UPDATE is when a program fixes or makes it better or safer to use. UPGRADE is taking you to the paid version.

PROBLEM –  Another reader said his computer had a virus. This nasty thing disabled his anti virus program and he could not get rid it. The virus warned him if he paid for their anti virus his computer would be fixed. His computer had been “hijacked” and he was being held for ransom. This is quite common and usually simple to fix.

SOLUTION – I told the reader to start his computer in “SAFE MODE”, then run his own anti virus program. This caught the nasty virus, deleted it and now he is a happy computer user. Be careful what you click on in Cyberspace…It may cost you!

If you have a computer problem or a great tip, please pass it along to Greg at First Monday and he will post it in the next issue.

Gregory can be reached at: gregory@alternatecloud.com
A website for Seniors learning technology: http://alternatecloud.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com
Free Computer Help Seminars: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203

Facebook for Beginners

HOW TO GET A FACEBOOK PAGE – HOW TO SECURE YOUR FACEBOOK

CLICK HERE WATCH THE HOW TO VIDEOS

facebook for beginners the easy way

Want to learn more? Alternate Cloud is here for you!

AlternateCloud.com helping seniors learn tech stuff

Visit us today for FREE HELP – so CICK HERE

 

help for seniors the easy way

HELPING SENIORS LEARN MORE - THE EASY WAYS

 Seniors learn the easy way right here at AlternateCloud website for FREE

Want to learn more?

Want to learn more?

 

Facebook: Are You and Your Children Safe?

Facebook: Are You and Your Children Safe?

facebook logo

Set Your Security

By Gregory West

Are you protecting yourself on Facebook? Are your children protected on Facebook? Not sure? Please read on…

A 2010 Consumer Report shows “23 percent of Facebook users don’t even know about the site’s privacy controls or just don’t bother to use them.” (full report: http://bit.ly/2010_report) and it doesn’t stop there. With over a half billion users, one can only imagine how many people do not use their security settings properly or even at all.

I became aware of this recently when I ran a free “Facebook for Beginners” seminar at Grace United Church in Sarnia, Ontario. Most people in attendance were using Facebook, yet none really knew how to protect themselves with Facebook security settings. In fact, many were surprised to see how easy it is to protect yourself in Facebook.

The Consumer Report goes on to point out the seriousness of this as they found “The survey, which seemed to focus primarily on Facebook, also discovered that 7 percent of people had posted their street address on their profile, while 3 percent had revealed times when they’d be away from home.”

It gets even more frightening when the report shows that “Among Facebook users with children, 26 percent had posted photos of their kids on the site and 13 percent had included the names of their kids in the captions, both of which Consumer Reports believes could expose the children to potential online predators.”

Have I scared you yet? I hope so.

Facebook is becoming extremely secure and a very important utility in today’s society. I personally believe this is the platform where most people in a community will gather…Let me rephrase that: Most people, who are online, now are involved in a Facebook community in one way or another. Facebook is rapidly becoming part of the mainstream media as well. So hang in there and don’t rush to delete your Facebook account just yet.

Here are a few items you can check on Facebook to tighten up your security as you so choose. Please go over the following to check and set your privacy controls to your liking.

  1. Go to your Facebook profile page (just open Facebook) and click on “Account” located at the top right of the webpage.
  2. Click “Privacy Settings”
  3. Now you will be on the page that says: “Choose Your Privacy Settings”. Now look for where it says: “Control basic information your friends will use to find you on Facebook. View Settings” and click on the “View Settings”.

You will now see a list of topics where your security settings can be changed. The topic list includes: Search for you on Facebook, Send you friend requests, Send you messages, See your friend list, See your education and work, See your current city and hometown, and See your likes, activities and other connections.

Those settings can be adjusted so that you can allow one of the following:

Everyone – Friends of Friends – Friends Only and there are some that allow some customization.

If you are at all concerned about who sees what, about you and especially your children, I highly suggest you go each one of these settings and adjust accordingly. Make sure you do this with your children so they realize the importance of privacy settings.

Of course, these privacy settings are not for everyone, and many people such as myself leave them open so that it expands my community and communication. The decision is yours do decide. Don’t listen to others, go and check out YOUR SECURITY SETTINGS today.

If you want further Facebook security information go to this website:
www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation.php#basicinfo and www.facebook.com/policy.php

The public is welcomed to attend another Free seminar on Facebook Security on May 9th, 10:00 a.m. at Grace United Church. Please bring a food item for the Food Bank.

Be safe out there!

Gregory can be reached at: gregory@alternatecloud.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com
Free Computer Help Seminars: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203

Evernote – Keeping an Online Diary Of FINDS

When you see something online that catches your eye but you don’t have the time right now to pursue it further, save it, don’t bookmark it; that is sooooooooo “old skool”.

NEVER LOSE YOUR INTERNET TREASURES AGAIN!

Evernote works in all browsers for both Mac and PCs. If you are working on a project and gathering data from the Interent Evernote is the best way to collect data, photos, charts, music, video etc. on the go.

Watch this video and see how it can work for you:

The Future of Computers is NO COMPUTERS

Note: This article will appear in First Monday Magazine next month…

The Future of Computers is NO COMPUTERS

By Gregory West

As a computer consultant and instructor I get asked which type of computer is a good deal and one that will last. As I explain the pros and cons of various computers, I know that they are in for a major change, and very soon computers will be a thing of the past.

We are now racing towards one of the most drastic changes in computer history. Welcome what I coin as: CLOUD COMPUTERS. We have all heard of the “Cloud” that exists on the Internet. Simply put, a “cloud” is a program where you store things such as photos (Flickr or Picasa), and videos (YouTube or Vimeo). Of course EVERYONE knows that you can store these on Facebook as well which is also a “cloud” program online.

I know, enough of the mumbo-jumbo computer talk and let’s get to the point.

Google is soon to announce its online operating system. This means you will not use your computer to use programs such as Word or Excel etc. These will be offered free in the new Google operating system. Soon there will be no more need for Microsoft’s XP, Vista, Windows 7, or even Apple’s Snow Leopard. It also means no more complicated computer systems. It will be somewhat like your TV and it will “just work”. You MUST watch this video: <http://bit.ly/91Fnm7googlecomputer> to see how it works.

No, Google’s new online operating system will not replace Apple or Microsoft systems just yet. However, this is a start to a very interesting future that is quickly unfolding before our very eyes. This new online operating system idea will virtually change the need for a computer. All we will need is a device that has a browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome. These will connect you to your online computer system.

Just think, many of us have been doing this for sometime now and not paying much attention…When you go online with your Smart Phone you are using a “Cloud Computer”. It can only get easier and better and less expensive. A full report on how this works is found here: <http://bit.ly/azhyJ6cloudcomputers>

George Orwell predicted 1984 as the year of “Big Brother” and I say that 2011 is the year we see “Cloud Computers”…I can’t wait.

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College. 
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of Sarnia’s new 
COMMUNITY Tech School at: <http://central-united-church.org/news&gt;. This is free and open to the public as a community service.

Gregory can be reached at: prospector16@gmail.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com

TAKE THE TIME TO WATCH THIS MUST-SEE VIDEO

Windows Live shares your Messenger contacts

I do not use Windows except for teaching purposes. My OS flavours are: Ubuntu and Snow Leopard.

Microsoft Drops the Ball AGAIN - come on guys!

WARNING: MICROSOFT FAILS SECURITY TESTS AGAIN…

click here for details:
Windows Live shares your Messenger contacts.

FACEBOOK Ghost Busters…And More PC Tips

Editor’s Note: This article will be published in First Monday Magazine August 2010 edition.
ghostFACEBOOK GHOST-BUSTERS – & Computer Tips

By Gregory West

Recently in the news, there are stories of Facebook users having ghosts appear on their computer screens, reminding them of days-gone-by. This is good for some, as it brings happy memories, however many people find it “kinda creepy seeing dead people wishing them ‘Happy Birthday’, etc.  “It’s a very sensitive topic,” said Meredith Chin, a (Facebook) company spokeswoman, “and, of course, seeing deceased friends pop up can be painful” (New York Times).
As Facebook quickly reaches a near one-half billion members, as people die their Facebook site lives on, sometimes sending messages to relatives. That in itself is comforting to some people but not others. Some people may find it creepy. “People over 65 are adopting Facebook at a faster pace than any other age group, with 6.5 million signing up in May alone…so the problem is only going to get worse” (Toronto Star). So, what’s the real issue?
If you want to shut this off you will have a very difficult time finding “how to”. Here is how to make the necessary changes. Go to this Facebook site:
(http://bit.ly/9jZp7m-facebook) and fill out the form. The preamble for the form states:
“Report a deceased person’s profile
IMPORTANT: This form is solely for the reporting of a deceased person to memorialize or remove the person’s account. Memorializing the account removes certain sensitive information and sets privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the Profile or locate it in search. The Wall remains, so that friends and family can leave posts in remembrance. Please note that unrelated inquiries through this form may not receive a response.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Sarnia has live eyes:
The 402 Highway in our area now has webcams so you can view the road and traffic conditions live…Not all are working but it is worth a peek:
How to Email those large vacation photo files:
We know that your Internet Service Provider limits the file sizes that you Email, including photos. So what can one do? There are several things you can do. Try resizing your photos when Emailing them to friends and family. Go to the Microsoft website for a free download of the software program needed for resizing photos: (http://bit.ly/aAAihD-microsoft).
If you want to maintain the large sized photos you can send them using this free software that will Email the recipient a link to the photos so they can easily download them. Send photo and data files by Email up to 100 megabytes in size using: (http://www.yousendit.com)
Of course you can always use an Internet site to edit and store your photos. When you want to send them you do it using a link that is created by the software. For example, try Google’s free Picasa photo editing and storage website: (http://picasaweb.google.com) – Picasa is recommended by many professional photographers who say this is great for the beginner and the pro.
[bi-line]
Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College. 
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of Sarnia’s new 
COMMUNITY Tech School at: http://central-united-church.org/news. This is free and open to the public as a community service.
Gregory can be reached at: prospector16@gmail.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com

10 Expert Tips For Microsoft Word 2010 | PCMag.com

10 Expert Tips For Microsoft Word 2010 | PCMag.com.

MS Word Tips

FireFox Fading Out?

Here We Go Again

Can Firefox Be Saved?

So says its’ Co-Founder…

Can Firefox Be Saved?

Many of you will remember the 1990’s when Netscape took a huge chunk from Microsoft’s web browser: IE’s 90% market share.

In fact it was during these web wars that the mighty Netscape was taking down by Microsoft. What happened doesn’t matter today. What matters today is that Firefox is being intentionally let sink below the other browsers.

Chrome, Google’s web browser is winning the race this time. It is faster and more people are switching over to Chrome. Even Apple’s Safari and Microsoft IE8 are gaining ground. This is serious.

I was a former Netscape user and NEVER did like IE and still don’t. This is sad times again; a decade since Netscape faded away.

To be honest, I have been test-driving Chrome and find it very interesting and fast. The only hold back to Firefox for me right now is a app that I happen to use that isn’t available for Firefox. However, I just might forget about the app and make the complete jump toChrome and click that little checkbox that asks something like: “Do you want to make Chrome your default browser?” Answer is soon to be YES 😦 not without regret.

To get the scoop from the guy who designed Netscape and Firefox and has moved  to Facebook, read this interesting article on the demise of Firefox: CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE in Techcrunch

A Windows 7 moment…

CAN’T RUN THAT OLD PROGRAM IN WIN

Oh yes you can…maybe!

See the missing manual series for more

Try this:

Click START an right above in the new search box start typing:
compatibility
until you see “Run programs made for previous versions of Windows”
Press Enter/Return button on your keyboard.

Tip: Right-click to get the wizard: Right-click a program’s icon, or shortcut icon, or even its name in the START menu; from the shortcut menu, choose “Troubleshoot compatibility.”

Answer the questions. You will come to a screen giving you a choice of auto or manual modes:

  1. try recommended settings (means let Windows do its thing)
  2. troubleshoot program (means find out what is wrong yourself)

Work through the question screens. When it is over you get a “Start the program” button to test if the program will run.

If this doesn’t work, return to the troubleshooting wizard and click “Next” for a new round of troubleshooting tests.

Good luck out there…

This is taken from a current review I am working on for OReilly Publishing:
Windows 7
the missing manual

by David Pogue

SUPER SAM Series Begins

The Adventures of Super Sam is my latest attempt a video editing on the MacBook. Once my office is put back together, I will be editing on the PC using Pinnacle, viewing on a 22″ Wide screen. Gotta love it eh!

You can also view this new series on Facebook at:

FACEBOOK’s: The Adventures of SUPER SAM